Diagnosis Murder: The Third Season (1995)

Genre(s): Comedy / Drama / Mystery
Paramount || NR - 839 minutes - $49.99 || December 4, 2007
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2007-12-18


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): NA
Cast: Dick Van Dyke, Barry Van Dyke, Victoria Rowell, Charlie Schlatter, Michael Tucci


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:

    None


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Full Screen (1.33)
  • English (Dolby Stereo)
  • Subtitles: None

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.::THE FILM::.

“Diagnosis Murder”, the surprisingly long-running series, centers on Mark Sloan (Dick Van Dyke), a respected doctor who does consultant work for the police. Each episode finds Dr. Sloan solving a murder and/or mystery with the help of his son, Detective Steve Sloan (real life son Barry Van Dyke) and co-workers Amanda (Rowell) and Jesse Travis (Schlatter, replacing Scott Baio who left after 2 seasons).

This isn’t exactly high art entertainment. Each episode is fairly mundane with atrocious dialogue and, at best, spotty acting. At the same time, it still retains a little entertainment value along the lines of “Dragnet” or any other show from the 50s. Dick Van Dyke has that grandfatherly aura that works and even the supporting cast is likable.

The show aired on CBS from 1993 to 2001 and though not as glossy as the numerous police procedurals we have now (“CSI”/spinoffs, “Law & Order”/spinoffs), “Diagnosis Murder” is one of those shows that you don’t want to admit you like. The plots are usually the same and each ends with Dr. Sloan in peril but manages to catch the bad guy. Makes one wonder, though, what exactly the San Francisco Police Department does when they have to rely on doctors to solve crimes...

My biggest problem I have with the series is I don’t understand why Dr. Sloan is so much better than the rest. See, I can watch “Monk” and understand why Adrian is so good at his job (and sometimes, though rare, he’s actually wrong). Another good example is “Columbo”. The bubbling detective looks inept in front of the suspects and that is his disguise to their ultimate capture as they would never think the detective could get them. But Sloan on the other hand isn’t all that interesting, as a character. Van Dyke does what he can and makes the show enjoyable but in terms of memorable TV characters, he’s not even in the top 50 of the 1990s.

Here is a breakdown of the Season Three episodes:

01. An Innocent Murder
The suicide of a wealthy man may be directly related to his daughter’s plan for revenge.
02. Witness to Murder
Mark tires to earn the trust of a young girl found abandoned at the scene of a crime.
03. All-American Murder
It’s not just another day at the beach when a young woman turns up dead.
04. Murder in the Courthouse
When Dr. Sloan is called for jury duty, he finds that justice can be deadly.
05. Murder on the Run (Part 1)
A convicted killer takes Dr. Sloan hostage in a desperate attempt to clear his name.
06. Murder on the Run (Part 2)
Convinced of his captor’s innocence, Dr. Sloan becomes determined to find the real killer.
07. Love is Murder
Steve Sloan could be the next victim in a case of fatal attraction.
08. Misdiagnosis Murder
Jesse suspects that a heart attack is the cause of death in a man who later turns up alive.
09. The Pressure to Murder
The mysterious death of Amanda’s cousin may be no accident.
10. Living on the Streets Can Be Murder
Dr. Sloan finds a missing link between several homeless murder victims.
11. Murder Murder
Twins are double trouble when Dr. Sloan tries to solve a friend’s murder.
12. Murder in the Dark
A visiting surgeon has no recollection of how another doctor wound up dead.
13. 35 Millimeter Murder
A picture is worth a thousand words when evidence of a murder winds up in the wrong hands.
14. The Murder Trade
Downsizing is murder when Dr. Sloan loses his job.
15. Mind Over Murder
When a beautiful psychic knows a little too much about a murder, she becomes the prime suspect.
16. Murder by the Book
An author is threatened after she writes a juicy expose about call girls and public figures.
17. FMurder
A perky TV hostess is suspected of murder in the shocking death of a radio talk-show host.
18. Left-Handed Murder
Something’s fishy in the case of a deceased man with three wives.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

No features included.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The series is presented in its OAR of full screen and features a typical Stereo soundtrack.



.::OVERALL::.

“Diagnosis Murder” isn’t going to challenge the mind but it has light-hearted fun and if you’re a fan of Dick Van Dyke, then this might be the show for you, just be prepared for some substandard writing. As for the DVD, Paramount doesn’t give any features but the video and picture is good enough.